Google’s very own – and free – Powersearching with Google Class kicked off on July 10th. This program is a part of Google Search Education, an offering from Google designed to help students become better searchers. If you’re a sourcer, recruiter or Joe HR that occasionally needs to find information efficiently online, you should pay a visit to this course. I’m encouraging my research team to do so. First, it’s free. Second, it’s online. Third, the lessons are short and sweet with immediate feedback on quiz answers. I get asked a lot about training, what to take, what’s respected, where I’ve been, what I’m looking into now. And while I’ve enjoyed the offerings within the recruit-o-sphere, it’s nice to travel outside that box. It’s great to function from a tactical perspective, but it’s really important to be able to think and heck, if you pass the final assessment with a 70% or higher you can add a spiffy certificate…from Google…to your wall.
So far I’ve completed Classes 1-3 in Google’s PowerSearch course, the next round commences Tuesday, July 17th. A lot of groundwork is laid, with an excellent explanation of how search works (and this is an important concept, especially when the word “real time” is bandied about so much in the world). There’s also a significant emphasis on the importance of search word order. Is some of the content retreading earlier search education I’ve had? Yes, definitely, but it better, I’ve been doing this for 15 years! I’m like most sourcers running their search team, I’ve got multiple responsibilities and involved in addressing immediate client needs so getting to explore all of Google and its enhanced search tweaks is something I don’t have a lot of opportunity to do on a daily basis. This course is highlighting some of those, like the ability to dive deep into image search and search by color. Or the fact that Google doesn’t just search YouTube when it’s searching videos, but all online videos. By the time I made my way into the third class I was pleased to see they were emphasizing double quotes “”, site:, filetype, and intext:. The course encourages further learning and engagement in its forum as well as challenging participants to play A Google A Day on Google+.
The course is taught by Dan Russell, Research Scientist on staff at Google (his LinkedIn profile is here) and includes significant Google guest speakers, like Matt Cutts. If you’ve checked out Dan’s background, it’s pretty impressive. Certainly you can keep up with his additional thoughts on search on Google+ but also his blog, SearchReSearch. Some of the quiz questions are softballs…but I know that they could get much more complex before this course is over. Check out this blog item from John Tedesco, where Russell shows this image:
and then asks, What’s the phone number of the office where this picture was snapped?
Holy crap. I love it. I’ve no idea what the answer is, but I can’t wait to learn how to figure it out.